Tag Archives: Graduate studies

3 Deadly Sins of Students

It’s office cleaning time as the Fall semester is around the corner. I’m throwing out stuff I copied but haven’t really looked at for a while. In one stack of photocopies, I ran across an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education written by an anonymous prof entitled, “The 7 Deadly Sins of Students.”The subtitle makes his point, “Undergraduates increasingly seem to choose self-indulgence and self-esteem over self-denial and self-questioning.”

The copy isn’t great and so I can’t tell whether it was written in 2006 or 8 but it doesn’t matter, the points are still good. But here are just 3 that may relate to graduate student dangers:

1. Sloth. Putting of readings and thus getting less out of class time.

2. Greed. Pursuing degrees for what they can do for the student rather than for learning (the author is a liberal arts prof! Of course the author is for learning for learning sake!). The concern is that this motivation makes it all the more easy to excuse cheating and plagiarism.

3. Anger. The prof points out that more students challenge assignments and grades because they are consumer minded (I paid a lot for this so deserve a better grade).

I am reminded of a recent email that was sent out by a colleague. He linked to a news report of recent law school grads attacking their alma maters for not being able to get a job after graduation. Seems the students are having a difficult job securing employment after graduation and consider this a failure of their school to inform them of the difficulty they might experience. If this is true for law school, I suspect it is also true for seminaries too.

Are you considering graduate education? You may wish to think through your motives and especially ask about job opportunities. What does the market look like for graduates? What kinds of things do graduates do? Further, be sure to understand how long it takes to be able to practice your profession. In the counseling world, a grad needs thousands (3600 for LPCs in PA) of post-graduate supervised practice and pass an exam. Find out what life is like for those who are ahead of you. What secrets do they have to successfully completing their requirements?

So, watch your deadly sins this fall if you are starting school soon. Funny, I see this author published another essay entitled, “7 Deadly Sins of Professors.” For some reason I didn’t copy that one. Wonder why…

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Why I don’t like group projects

Group projects are common in grad studies–and they should be. Learning and work needs to happen in community, not silos. But, there are good groups and then there are groups from hell.

Last night I was working on a paper at a cafe. Next to me was a group of loud adult women who I think were working on an MBA project. The tangents, the fighting over who would do what, the level of foolish banter reminded me why I always feared being in a group that couldn’t get out of its own way.

Best part last night? The 15 minute rabbit trail after someone spouted, “You are straining the gnats and swallowing the camel.” Apparently some had never heard this saying and so they debated its meaning, the right words for the saying and then who, in the group, was straining and who was swallowing.


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